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kayak.com - worst experience ever

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kayak.com - worst experience ever

On July 21st I booked a trip to Sanibel Island in Florida - from Aug 2nd to Aug 6th. I booked it on kayak.com. I received a confirmation email and everything seemed just perfect. On July 23rd the payment for my trip was charged to my account. My son and I were now looking forward to our vacation. Today July 31st I called the hotel to confirm that my reservation was in order. To my huge surprise the hotel never received any reservation in my name. I got on the phone with Kayak.com. the first person I spoke with could barely speak English and had no suggestions as to what to do other than cancel my reservation because they never received my payment!! Payment which was made with a debit card and which I assured them had most certainly been charged to my account. After about 15 min I asked for a supervisor. I was put on hold and 10 later a person who claimed to be customer service manager came on the phone. I was told that my reservation was no longer valid due to a now technical error.. that I HAD TO cancel it and start a new process. I asked for them to contact the hotel, which he claimed he already did and since kayak.com couldn't prove that I paid they couldn't validate my reservation. Very reluctantly I said that I will agree to that. Put on hold again for 10 min, only to find out that they couldn't make a new reservation because the hotel was now fully booked. The best they could do for me was to give me a full refund which will taketake up to 2 weeks. NO apology, NO compensation, NO suggestions to rectify the error.. for example different hotel on the island, and worst of all NO VACATION FOR MY SON.

I, later in the day, got on the phone with the hotel again.. Seeside Inn and they connected me with another hotel in their organization.. Sanibel Inn, and after explaining to them what happened they were able to help me and I got the last available room at a higher but still reasonable rate.

Big thanks to Sanibel Inn.

Singapore, Singapore
3 posts
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1. Re: kayak.com - worst experience ever

Same here, Kayak.com doesn't confirmed bookings and hence destroy travel plans!

I recently made a flight booking with kayak.com for my client’s business trip. The booking was confirmed, and I received 24 hour & other alerts to my email address, stating to remind me of the flight. To my horror, the client called from the airport when checking in, saying that the booking had been cancelled by Kayak.com.

It was ridiculous to spend more than 4 hours on the phone with the customer service (redirected to this and that department… and ample waiting time on the phone), to ask for an explanation. None was to be had immediately.

The telephone operators were transferring my call back and forth between the Revenue Protection Department and Customer Service. Apparently, Kayak.com had cancelled the booking without my knowledge. It was clearly Kayak.com’s fault that all the problems occurred. They claimed that they had sent an auto-generated email, made phone calls to me and suggested that it was my fault for not receiving the call.

Kayak.com had caused an incessant amount of time wasted and my client to miss his flight. We had to scramble to book him on another flight at additional cost at the airport there and then. Again this caused inconvenience to all and gave undue stress to all. To add to their insincerity to their clients, Kayak.com refused to pay for the airfare and the extra damages that had incurred due to their lapse.

Kayak.com's lapse in their operations incurred damages and losses. Their management and operational procedures are flawed, putting the bookings and reservations in jeopardy.

I will not book with Kayak.com ever again...

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
Level Contributor
24,790 posts
65 reviews
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2. Re: kayak.com - worst experience ever

Brendan_87,

You'll get a far more favorable response from the community if you don't go and post the same matter over several threads.

In my experience, both the above situations have been caused by the hotel. Technical error? What technical error? The hotel is lying to you. What they didnt tell you is that they missed the email notification they got for your reservation and didn't enter your reservation in the system.

Also why would Kayak.com just cancel a reservation at no notice? Because the hotel overbooked and didn't want to deal with angry guests. Easier letting the agent/booking service take the blame.

Your prerogative entirely whether you consider this view, but I'm almost certain you're pointing the finger at the wrong people.

Also suggest that until every avenue is exhausted, don't go posting "don't use xxxx service" all over the Internet. It just adds to your anger and won't help your cause.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
Level Contributor
24,790 posts
65 reviews
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3. Re: kayak.com - worst experience ever

"Their management and operational procedures are flawed, putting the bookings and reservations in jeopardy"

Explain how exactly it is flawed.

Singapore, Singapore
3 posts
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4. Re: kayak.com - worst experience ever

Hi KVE1005,

Like MGY73, we have both been victims of this Lapse after using Kayak.com. It needs to communicated to the travel community about a possible unpleasant scenario which will happen to them.

MGY73 had problems with his hotel booking while I had mine with air tickets booking. The airline was not as nice as the hotel to listen to explanations and have my client board his intended flight. This had created quite a big problem for many.

I post with the intent of informing others in our midst, that this had happened to me.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
Level Contributor
24,790 posts
65 reviews
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5. Re: kayak.com - worst experience ever

Hi brendan_87,

The purpose of my post was to make sure both sides of the story are equally heard because hotels and airlines are no angels either. Being in this industry, quite often the poor middle men cops the blame whist the true cause gets largely ignored. Again, could you tell us why you think their system is flawed? Why not the hotel?

Singapore, Singapore
3 posts
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6. Re: kayak.com - worst experience ever

Hi KVE1005,

Thanks for engaging in this conversation.

It was only at the airport before check in that we were told that Kayak.com had cancelled my booking. Prior that I haven't received any mails, calls, or notices which they deemed to have sent. In fact I received 24 Hour Confirmation and Alerts about the flight a few days before. It gave that sense that the flight was about to happen.

It was ONLY AFTER the airline told us on the very day that this reservation had already been cancelled by Kayak.com. And hence they realised that no email was sent to me, no calls got to me, or the bank and didn't follow up on the situation. It was extremely frustrating to be caught in such a situation.

Here's my side of the story, the airline's side of the story all stated in my post (which is already removed by Tripadvisor). Thanks.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
Level Contributor
24,790 posts
65 reviews
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7. Re: kayak.com - worst experience ever

Yes, it's most definitely bizarre and although there have been plethora of cases where airlines have failed to inform passengers of schedule changes, it is most unusual for them to cancel your ticket altogether.

In your situation, I would be trying to obtain evidence from the airline where you can authenticate the cancellation by Kayak on a certain date and time.

I'm starting to see the picture a little better.

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Mauritius, Grand Baie
Level Contributor
20,748 posts
1,738 reviews
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8. Re: kayak.com - worst experience ever

kayak.com are just a meta search engine. They find the lowest scheduled flights and you are then taken to the airline's own website where the booking is done.

I understand that now they are own by Google, things may be little different but you in essence book directly with the airline and any changes is a matter between you and the airline.

Seattle, Washington
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10,857 posts
94 reviews
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9. Re: kayak.com - worst experience ever

It's always a good idea to check your reservation directly with the hotel, airline, etc., after booking. Takes just a couple of minutes and would have saved both of you a lot of hassle.

Milwaukee
Destination Expert
for Milwaukee
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10,369 posts
62 reviews
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10. Re: kayak.com - worst experience ever

Gracie is right. It has often been repeated on this forum, but apparently it never hurts to repeat it again.

The best thing to do is book directly with the airline or hotel, but if you must use a third party booking site always check directly with the hotel or airline to verify your reservation.

In fact I always join the airline's frequent flyer club so they have my e mail address and all contact information in case of changes.

Most people check in for flights online nowadays, so it is probably becoming rarer to actually show up at the airport to find out about a problem, but I guess it still happens.